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Beware of sniper-laced beans, CPC warns Nigerians

THE Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has warned Nigerians to be careful and parboil their beans extensively before consuming as there is credible intelligence that some retailers use harmful chemicals to preserve beans from being attacked by insects.

This warning was contained in a statement signed by the Director General of the CPC, Babatunde Irukera, on Friday.

Irukera stated that the CPC has confirmed that some traders, “mostly in the open market are using a pesticide, 2.2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate (DDVP) compound, otherwise marketed and known as “Sniper” to preserve beans, and more particularly to eliminate or protect from weevils”.

Sniper, according to Irukera, can be harmful when human beings are unduly exposed to it “by inhalation, absorption, direct skin contact or ingestion”. He explained that though the traders may not have intended to endanger lives by lacing their beans with the chemical, there exists the “risk of injury on account of consumption of beans exposed to, or treated with Sniper”.

Irukera cautioned traders on the dangers of using unauthorised chemicals to preserve food items. He however pointed out that cooking significantly reduces the risk of exposure from pesticides “as most are diminished under extended periods of direct heat in excess of 100 degrees”.

“The best possible caution is to avoid subjecting food items to pesticides (that are) not in accordance with prevailing food safety regulations,” he said.

An official of the Consumer Protection Council confirmed to The ICIR that the statement, which has already gone viral on the social media, was indeed issued by the Council’s DG.

In March 2017, three persons, said to be siblings, were arrested in Lagos for allegedly lacing their beans with ‘sniper’ in order to keep away insects. Their shop was also sealed by the authorities. But a fresh video is currently being circulated on the social media showing some people purportedly using the chemical to preserve beans from insects.

Watch the video below:

 

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